Muscle strains and tears
What is a muscle tear?
Think of a rope stretched taut. As it is pulled harder, more and more patches shoot loose until the rope finally breaks. Something similar happens in your muscles, too. When the force coming onto a muscle is too great for what it can handle, it can (partially) tear. This can happen when you try to shorten a muscle, as well as when you stretch a muscle all the way (a strain).
Common muscle tears occur in the thigh, hamstrings, calf , as well as the shoulder (rotator cuff), upper arm (biceps/triceps) and low back. However, a tear or strain can happen in every muscles.
GRADES OF MUSCLE STRAINS
Grade 1: Localized pain, aggravated by movement; minor disability; mild swelling, ecchymosis, local tenderness; minimal hemorrhage.
Grade 2: Localized pain, aggravated by movement; moderate disability; moderate swelling, ecchymosis, local tenderness; stretching and tearing of fibers, without complete disruption.
Grade 3: Severe pain, and disability; severe swelling, ecchymosis, hematoma; palpable defect and loss of muscle function; muscle or tendon rupture
PHASE 1: INFLAMMATION PHASE
RICE OR NOT?
MOVEMENT IS THE BETTER OPTION
Phase 2: Proliferation phase
Phase 3: Remodeling phase
Other considerations and take aways
- Recovery takes time.Recovering from injuries takes longer than most people expect. Don’t panic if you’re not 100% recovered after a few months. Tissue recovery can take up to 2 years after a bad sprain or tear. It’s normal.
- Sleep.You recover when you sleep. The bigger the injury, the more you should prioritize sleeping a minimum of 8 hours.
- Nutrition.In order to recover optimally from an injury your body needs the right nutrients. Add some protein to your diet and make sure you get enough vitamins in, preferably through food, but supplementation is also ok.
- Besides magnesium, omega 3, vitamin d3, you might benefit from antioxidants (vitamin A, C and E, zinc, selenium, glutathione) and collagen. When you are not a supplement person, bone broth is a great source of collagen, vitamines, minerals and aminoacids.
- Breathing.why would breathing influence recovery you might think. When injured, your body is put in a state of stress, but in order to heal optimally you will benefit from being in a more relaxed state. Breathing is one of the best tools to relax and switch to a more relaxed state to create an optimal environment for recovery. Focus on exhaling longer than you inhale. Do that 2x 10 minutes a day.
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Now you know that inflammation is essential in recovery so be mindful of using anti-inflammatory drugs. When in doubt, contact your GP.
- Movement.I’ve mentioned it before, but its worth to mention again. Getting movement back asap is essential in your recovery. Rest is outdated.